Jane Green’s new book, Summer Secrets, explores a woman’s struggle to overcome her alcoholism, and take her life back.
Cat Coombs is a London journalist who never felt as though she “fit in” during childhood, and especially not as a teen. She’d learned early-on to combat her isolation with alcohol, until she was surprised to realize that one day it had taken over her life.
I feel it slipping down my throat, the silky smoothness, the slight burn as it hits my chest, the warmth that instantly rises, removing the loneliness, the hunger, whatever pain is lurking there.
Cat agrees to attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, and once again doesn’t feel like she belongs. After all, she’s not an alcoholic, she tells herself. She can control her drinking. But at the meeting, she meets Jason, the man of her dreams, and falls hopelessly in love.
After her American-born mother reveals a shocking secret, Cat travels to Nantucket Island to visit family she didn’t know she had, desperate to connect. But while there, her alcoholism causes her to betray those she was trying so hard to impress, finally hitting rock-bottom. And to keep Jason, Cat must finally admit she’s an alcoholic, vowing to work through the steps of her AA program. She must make amends to people she’s hurt, and later returns to Nantucket to right her wrongs.
I enjoyed the way Jane Green portrayed the phases of alcoholism – Cat went through denial, free-fall, skepticism, humility and acceptance, and determination to make amends in her journey through recovery. It was believable; it was real. Green examines the honesty one must have to turn her life around, and the forgiveness we must both seek and give to finally find peace amid the turbulence of life.
Thank you St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy for review. I enjoyed the read, and recommend this book.